tv Mayoral Debate CBS October 17, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
evening, everybody. i am muriel bowser and i am running for mayor of my hometown. i am very proud of the progress that we have made together in this city but i'm also concerned that not everybody in our city is enjoying that progress. that's why as council member i fought for common sense solutions that help everyday families all across the district of columbia. light kids ride free on metro bus which has allowed thousands of families to get to school. before kids ride free families in ward 8 were paying $30 per month per child just to get to school. the school in their neighborhood had been closed one year, other school will be closed the next. families have been able to keep money in their pockets and get their kids to quality schools. i fought for saving d.c. homes from foreclosure to keep families in their homes and i'm going to keep fighting for all eight wards in the district of columbia with your support.
[ cheering and applause ] >> miss schwartz. >> good evening, everybody. i am carol schwartz, a former at large member of the d.c. council. some of you may remember me from my 16 years on the council as well as my two terms on the board of education and may also remember that i lost 5 1/2 years ago my reelection for the council because i gave sick leave to workers. and i'm very proud of that, even though i have been threatened by some in the business community that they would come after me if i pushed ahead. i think it's important for people who have part-time jobs and who work to have some sick leave and so if i had to do it all again and have taken this leave of absence because of it, because i lost my election, i would do it all again. but i want to come back so i can continue doing things for
people who need it, helping our vulnerable population, getting affordingable housing, helping our homeless, giving drug treatment and alcohol treatment to those who need it. thank you all very much. >> thank you very much. [ cheering and applause ] >> mr. catania. >> thank you very much, bruce. i want to thank everyone for being here and the organizers for arranging this. we have a big decision to make a couple weeks from now and that is who has the experience and the values and the vision to lead our city. for the last 17 years i have been very privileged to be able to get up every day and run towards our city challenges and i'm also proud of some of the things we have been able to champion, for instance, during my chairmanship of the committee on health before the affordable care act we reduced our rate of uninsured to the second lowest rate in the country at 5.8% and 3.2 for children. we were able to cut our hiv infections by 69% and our deaths -- we were able to invest $100 million into united
medical center and save it from closure. for the last 30 or 21 months, rather, i have chaired the committee on education and through 150 conversations with school leaders we have been able to end social promotion, make the biggest investment in our city's history in at risk children and we are now on the road of fixing special education. i am running for mayor because d.c. can do better. thank you. >> thank you, mr. catania. [ cheering and applause ] >> the order of responding to questions also decided by lot. the first question goes to carol schwartz. miss schwartz, could you name the single biggest contribution you have made to ward 8. >> i think that probably i would say the sick leave where people who need it have it, the department of the environment trying to clean up the
anacostia river which can negatively impact the neighborhood. i also in my private life, not just my public life, bruce, but in my private life i have done enormous amounts of volunteer work including coming out here, having been on the board of the metropolitan police boys and girls clubs and having worked at the center out here for all those years, several decades ago. so i think both in my political life and my community life, i think ward 8 has benefited from all those activities. i also, if you remember, chaired the committee that had public works under it and we were able to do far better at trash pickup and we were able to make dmv be better. unfortunately it's fallen back since i don't chair the committee anymore. >> miss schwartz, time is up. >> but i have always made lives better for everyone. >> thank you very much. miss bowser, same question your single biggest contributions to ward 8. >> what i've heard from residents all across ward 8 is
the transit, the free transit for school children. as i mentioned in my opening it's made a real difference in everyday lives for families who were leaving their communities to go to school and had to pay to do so. so that's very important. i think that i have also made a tremendous contribution in working with residents that surround park southern. i came -- i'm sorry. >> excuse me. please, please, come on. we are early into this debate. please don't do that. you disrespect all of us when you do that. miss bowser, please continue. >> yes. as i started, i wanted to say that a problem was brought to me about violence in the community on metro bus, that surrounded a community called parkway overlook. i worked with all of the housing agencies to make sure that that building could be saved and was actually most recently purchased by the
housing authority and will be converted to hundreds of units of affordable housing. >> time up. mr. catania, same question, your biggest single contribution to ward 8? >> thank you, mr. johnson. you know, several years ago when i first became chairman of the committee on health, united medical center, then greater southeast was borrowing pharmaceuticals from neighboring hospitals as well as bandages. nurses routinely walked off the job for failure to be paid and the radiology department had been burned out. it was operating as barely more than a clinic when i became chairman and i was proud of leading the council's effort to invest over $100 million into that facility. a new exterior, new equipment, new radiology, new wound care, new dialysis, new but most importantly the new united medical center partnership with children's national medical center which brought a pediatric er to that site that will see 40,000 children alone this year. i am proud of the fact that while not perfect, that hospital would have closed but for our effort and there are
many who say well it was a band- aid or a waste of money. i believe that people of this community are entitled to the same quality of health care that i expect in my neighborhood and that's why i led the effort and i'm proud of it and that hospital is there with 1000 jobs because of it. >> okay. now we have random questions and we will start at this end and work our way up. first question to all three candidates. you are elected mayor and you get a call from merion barry and he's -- do you take the call or do you give it to a department head? mr. catania, start with you. >> you can't not take a call from merion. merion cannot be deferred. look, you know, merion and i have had a storied history, sometimes we love each other, sometimes we don't but i got to tell you that no one can diminish merion's legacy and his work. it was just one minute? >> that was really a one word answer.
>> yes, i would take the call, absolutely. >> miss schwartz would you take the call or give it to a department head? >> of course i would take his call. i had the great privilege and i will never understand exactly why but merion before he went in for his kidney transplant operation, i just gone on the council and i was out of town actually, i got a call from merion barry from the hospital, howard university hospital -- >> again, miss schwartz -- >> i had a conversation with him and -- >> that was a "yes" or "no" answer. thank you very much. >> of course i would take his call, always have, always will. >> miss bowser, you would take the call or give it to a department head? >> yes, i would take merion's call. i took his call about five calls today talking about what's important to the residents of ward 8. [ cheering and applause ] >> okay. we'd like -- we will keep it on miss bowser and work our way down. we would like one minute responses. we are talking education reform. everybody says he or she is for
education reform. specifics, please. you become mayor, what is the first thing you do to speed up reform? >> i think -- yes, and i think we all are for education reform and we have to decide how fast this government is going to make equality in our education investments a priority. we have worked hard in school reform over the last seven years. we have made a lot of progress, some of it very difficult and some of the decisions very difficult. and now we see parents are choosing d.c. public schools again. we see our numbers growing and that's because they have confidence in leadership and i think that we have to have continued leadership in our schools that's going to be strong for closing educational gaps. the biggest thing that i think that remains is making sure our middle schools are ready, that we are telling parents, that we are going to have great buildings, great leadership, great curriculum and that their students are going to be ready for high school and career when they graduate from high school, they will be prepared to go
onto college or get great jobs so that they can afford the great life in the district of columbia. >> again -- [ applause ] >> miss schwartz, one minute and, again, my question is kind of specific, you know, is there any one thing you would do that you have in mind that isn't being done now to speed up reform? >> well, listen, i have a lifetime on working on education reform and my own children went nowhere but the d.c. public schools. i -- one of the things that i called for in my education plan and i hope you'll look at it at carol for dc.com is a call to service. we have a lot of retired educators not only in d.c. but throughout the metropolitan area and i want to literally bus them in to go to our schools where there are a large number of high need students so they can do one-on-one tutoring to give those children some tender, loving care and attention so they can get
caught up at very early ages. i also want wraparound services at those type of schools, so that parents can go in for adult education classes in the evenings and on weekends so i have very specific plans of how we tackle this terrible disparity that we have in the test scores of our children. >> thank you very much. mr. catania specifics, a specific that you would do to speed up reform. >> thank you, mr. johnson. i would continue to build on the work the committee started on education 18, 19 months ago. we have ended social promotion, we need to make sure children are on grade level. we would expand the at risk wake which i offered which is the largest investment in our city in at risk youth $80 million and continue to work on special education, but the one thing we are missing is stability in our leadershi schools. this is the perfect example, this school lost a terrific principal last year in dr. roberts. but there's a feeder system, illustrates a point there's a
feeder system that feeds into ballew that illustrates perfectly what i am saying, you have simon and kraemer and ballew in front of each other across the street from each one and every one of those leaders this year has changed. they lost an elementary school, they lost a middle school and lost a principal school leader. unless there's stability in leadership, our schools aren't going to improve and i would make that a focus. [ cheering and applause ] >> mr. catania, follow-up question, you talk about the absence of leadership, are you referring to the chancellor or are you talking about the mayor when you talk about an absence of leadership? >> i don't think it's important to focus on blame. i think it's important to realize that yes we need stability at the top within our chancellor but also stability in our schools so that reform can matriculate and so reform can actually take root. when we are changing school leaders as we are doing every year we lose about 20 years of our dps principals every year, we are not giving our schools a chance to get set up to succeed and that's a problem.
>> miss schwartz. >> i also think we need stability in our teaching staff too. when they did the reform they threw out the baby with the bath water. there were a lot of veteran teachers that were really good and instead they brought in all these teach for american young people, all good, all good, but, but they usually stay for two to three years, even if you look at the website of the h for america, two to three years. we need teachers where one child will have them and their brother and their sister will have this good teacher, and we need to also get a core of veteran teachers and stop throwing out the baby with the bath water. >> miss bowser, you want a crack at that or can we move on? >> we do need stability but we also need continuity in leadership at the top. i would set some goals and work -- in working with the chancellor, goals on retaining
principals, retaining principals that are effective for the schools. i would set some goals for retaining teachers, teachers who are effective for the schools. what's most important is that we are moving our children along and that every adult in the building can demonstrate how they are helping in that case. >> one more question about schools. this is on school boundaries. i could be wrong but it seems to me that all three of you are punting when it comes to the issue of school boundaries, you want to put it off until after you're in office so let me ask you this. let me give you an example. let's talk about crestwood, if you will, which is on the other side of the river but right now residents of crestwood can send their kids to wilson senior high school under the mayor's plan, they would have to send their kids to rows investment -- roosevelt. anybody got a problem with that. >> may i answer that? >> yes, it's in your ward. >> it is in my ward but we are in ward 8 so let's talk about the impact of the boundaries on ward 8 neighborhoods first.
and what the boundaries on the table would do is say to families who are in ward 8 is that there is going to be a line down the anacostia river and you are in boundary for anything across it. there are families right now who are in boundary for eastern high school so i will not support a plan and i do not think a plan is ready if it exacerbates educational inequality and the same is true for the neighborhood that you mentioned that i have the privilege of representing right now, drawing a line down rock creek park is also not acceptable and it exacerbates educational inequality in our city. >> wait a minute. i want to redirect the question. what is your plan? >> i would like to answer that question too, bruce. >> okay. >> my children went to the d.c. public schools and one of the reasons i wanted them to go is because i wanted the glorious divert that is washington, d.c. for them to have that
experience in school as well. and they did. and now i think that some of the boundary things that are being proposed are going to integrate a school system and i am not going to allow boun- versus board of -- brown versus board of education to go backwards on my watch, i can assure you. >> may i answer that too, bruce? >> mr. catania. >> you know, i appreciate council member bowser's refocus on ward 8 because i think, you know, too often we are focused on one particular community but the reboundary or the redrawing has an immediate impact on this community. you know, simply taking moten, for instance, moten elementary away from johnson and moving it to kraemer is going to cripple johnson. now, we know that a couple of years ago there was an effort to try to close johnson. there are currently only four elementary schools that feed into johnson. moten is the largest. it's responsible for about 42 of the 100 incoming kids. moving moten to kraemer is going to cripple johnson. it will be the predicate to its
closing. the three remaining schools aren't enough and so when people say do you support it, well, there are parts of the program that i do support but there are parts that we have to look at and we have to understand that there can be a domino effect with how this is being implemented so i think it's not important to do it quickly. we have waited 40 years, it's important to do it thoughtfully and it's important to understand that the decisions that we make today are going to have a cascading domino effect. >> one of the -- [ applause ] >> one of known leading community issues -- moot point especially when you talk about diversity because you don't have it. what do you do to make sure children are also exposed to a diverse education? >> i think one of the things that is done through the boundary that i do like is that every school will have an out of boundary, elementary schools will be 10%, middle schools will be 15% and high schools, secondary schools will be 20%. i actually would make those instead of -- 10, 15 and 20%, i
would make them 15, 20 and 25%. so that's how we can get the kind of diversity that i think we should all have. i mean, one of the reasons i think washington is so special except now that we are such a boom town and people are being priced out and many people of color are being priced out, but i want us to be able not only to have our diversity, but share that diversity among each other and schools are certainly the appropriate place to do that. >> mr. catania, how do you bring about diversity? >> i think that's one question but another question is how do we make the schools better? we have spent so much time talking about boundaries and feeders and what we really need to be talking about is how we set our schools up to succeed and anacostia high school is a perfect example. last year only nktw36% of young men in this school graduated on time. and only 49% of the young women. when only 43% of our kids are
graduating on time, that is a state of emergency, diversity is very important but what is also important is making sure our schools are absolutely resourced so they can meet the kids as we find them and we can have success. [ cheering and applause ] >> mr. catania, with all due respect a lot of people believe there's a direct correlation between lack of diversity and the status in equality of the schools. >> people may believe that but may i tell you among our top performing schools -- >> i think the courts have ruled that, mr. catania. miss bowser, what would you do to bring diversity to the students over here? >> i think it's important and i actually think that mrs. schwartz in talking about the outer boundary allotment is right in making sure that we protect a fair out of boundary allotment. it's also important that our schools that are -- like the school without walls and duke ellington are recruiting east of the river and making sure that children east of the river have those excellent
opportunities as well. it is and i will support having a specialty or application school, i think there have been a lot of discussions about specialty and application schools east of the river where children from all over the city can apply and get in. we spend a lot of time talking about proficiency and it's important that all of our children achiev but it's so important that they move forward in other ways, that they are responsible, this they are learning, that they are improving, that they are supporting each other, that they are fulfilling themselves, they are athletic talents, their academic talents and that we are supporting children along the whole spectrum. >> thank you very much. let's move on. let's move on to affordable housing. every candidate who has ever run for any office says he or she is for affordable housing. could each of you define for us what you're talking about when you say affordable housing and what do you do to make sure there's more of it or less.
>> i would like to jump in and deal with that one. i've been gone for 5 1/2 years as i stated earlier and i, as affordable housing as become less and less, the movement of this government to get more of it has also become less and less. and so i think those who have sat here in those 5 1/2 years i've been gone should have been moving more aggressively on the area of affordable housing. and one of the i want to do is bring back public housing and if we can't get the feds to be part of it, we will do it ourselves. and what we will do is we will make sure, and i'm talking about you're saying what are you talking about about affordable housing? public housing is the 30% and below of we are talking about really people that are practically at the poverty level and we need to be able to give them decent housing and also expect certain
behaviors that will keep up that public housing. >> mr. catania, what would you do to bring about more affordable housing? >> i think miss schwartz is onto something with respect to reinvestment in our public housing. we have about 8000 public units in our city and up to 600 that are vacant are not utilized and why is that important? because we have a homelessness crisis which is crushing our city. as recently as last week when i was walking through fort lincoln, i saw as many as 40 vacant units, single, double, triple, four bedroom apartments and there's no reason in the world that we have habitable units that are empty in the middle of a homelessness crisis so we need a government with a sense of urgency and we need the resources to back it up. >> miss bowser. miss, bowser what do you mean when you say affordable housing and how do you create more affordable housing? >> we know that affordable housing, what the target is no person should spend more than 30% of their income on housing and we know that thousands and
thousands and thousands of d.c. residents are spending more than 50% of their income on housing, which means they are house poor and so that is the definition of affordable housing. i would do several things. the first thing i would do is commit to $100 million every year, sustainable to create and preserve affordable units. the second thing that i would do is commit, is commit to making sure that we are renovating our public housing. now, this is the thing, we have 8000 units and just about every one of them needs investment, just about every one of them needs investment. in this government, you're right, the feds have backed up from it. so are we going to step up to the plate as a local government and use some of our housing production trust fund to invest in that housing? i say yes. >> we like to talk about the family shelter d.c. general. mayor gray came out with a plan, a lot of people feel it
was merely a goal, kind of vague. what would you do and what would be your timetable for closing d.c. general as a family shelter? let's start with you, mr. catania. >> the mayor has established a one-year timetable, i don't know candidly if that's doable. there are so many moving parts but i think rather than worry about what we are going to do with d.c. general next year, we need to understand we have a problem this year. we have as many as 840 families that are going to be seeking emergency services and as recently as this week we understand we only have accommodations for about 409, about half the families that are going to need emergency shelter this year, this winter don't have it and we are behind the eightball. we have not budgeted for hotels this winter and we have quite a crisis on our hands and so what we need is an emergency effort right now to begin finding the hotel accommodations and the budget capacity for this very winter. longer term the mayor is right, we need a longer-term strategy, we would have had a longer-term
strategy which would have included the hebrew home in ward 4 but that was stopped by my colleague from ward 4. >> may i address mr. -- >> one minute, miss bowser. one minute to respond, please. >> well, thank you. and i am glad my -- i'm glad my colleague brought it up because i'll tell you in the bowser administration we won't replace d.c. general with another big shelter that doesn't work. what we have learned is that large shelters are not suitable for families in raising children in and we will not support it. what we will get at spring row because i have led and worked with the community, new and old, people who have been there for five generations and people who have been there for five minutes and what the old hebrew home will become is a wonderful mixed income property where people who are exiting homelessness will live, people who are teachers and firefighters and police officers will live and where we
will -- might even have the opportunities for people to buy their first home and that is my approach to dealing with d.c. general. >> miss schwartz. >> i think we have to look for -- i think we have to look for good examples. the second street shelter, which had its good days and its bad days, i can tell you i have been there visiting recently and i have seen that they have some exemplary services there where they are really doing it right. and so i think we have to look at those kind of examples. i do believe that, obviously, d.c. general with its rat infestation, with it's filth, obviously has to be closed and the sooner, the better, but i do believe that we should look in the future for either renovating d.c. general or look for something comparable because i do believe families
who are homeless and hopefully this will only be temporary should be housed where they can have total wraparound services and the children can have playgrounds and the mothers and parents can be a support to each other as they try to work their way out of their homeless situation. >> let's get to jobs and i'm asking you again to be specific here. in light of the building trade industry, a lot of i.t. folks say the reason why, you know, people in this community and others aren't getting these jobs, d.c. residents, is because they don't have the skills. it's a two part question. do you agree with that, two, how do you make sure the d.c. residents have the skills so they can go out and compete with suburban residents and others for the jobs that are here? >> well, i think at first -- it first starts with education. we've got to have a better education system so they will have the kind of reading and writing and basic skills they need to go anywhere. i think our vocational education programs that we have expanded within the public -- within the schools are very,
very important, like the hospitality, high school, those kinds of things are giving them a jump start. >> is there enough of that? >> well, i think we can use more of that and in addition, i think that we have to do training, that it's going to be specific to the jobs that are out there. and so i think that there's lots of areas we can do -- i did when i chaired the committee on government operations and workforce development, we actually did a law, first source law and we said if they didn't give us the 51% they were supposed, to the people that got contracts for the city would have to pay a huge fine and but guess what? they needed up in court. it's in court right now. i hope we win. >> mrs. bowser, what do you do to put people to work and make sure they have the training? >> make sure we have real laws and enforcement and support for our exoffender and our returning citizens i should say
community in the district of columbia. we know we have a high number of people who have served their time and have completed their debt to society and they are home and want to be productive and we have made changes to the law that i think are going to be helpful but we also have to have the support at the office of exoffenders and that's important. i think the government has a role to play in helping people gain skills and be trained while they are working. i will create a dgs or department of general services academy in the district of columbia and what that academy will be focused on is how we train people for the jobs that d.c. government creates. those jobs include carpenters and people who -- and people who cut the grass and people who paint the walls and that is what everybody here is focused on, how to get people back to work. we can talk about affordable housing and that's important but the closest way to get to
affordable housing is get people in good jobs with good wages. >> on that note, mr. catania, how do you get people the job training and how do you get them into these jobs? >> you know, this is an area that i'm particularly sensitive about. my own mother was in a situation very similar, i think that many people find themselves in the city. she was or fdny and 16 -- orphaned at 16 and didn't -- it was tough then and it's got enno easier. and there are unfortunately too many of our people in our cities for one reason or another who haven't finished high school and who lack the skills. we have to get aggressive about having reengagement centers where young people can come back into school, where we can get them on a glide path so they can have skills so they can actually support their families. now, we have done a couple of things, miss schwartz mentions one but there's another i'm proud of. a few years ago i authored a
bill that required that 35% of all apprenticable hours on d.c. government funded projects go to district residents and created a real demand for our young people, so much so that with the o street market project and the markey project this year, 60% of the apprentices -- >> campaign 2014 the final d.c. mayoral debate you're watching wusa
u.s. attorneys investigation -- everybody's mind this investigation is ongoing, a lot of people wouldn't be surprised if even the mayor is indicted. i need each of you to comment on this investigation and how it has been handled. everyone okay with how he's handled this including the announced plea bargain agreement with jeff thompson? >> i think the timing looked awfully suspicious. the timing, you know, right before the primary, now, i may have had a particular point of view about the whole shadow campaign but i think the timing of the plea bargain with jeff thompson, you know, just a couple of weeks before the primary, it appeared as if the thumb was placed on the scale that there was an impression that there was an immediate action being taken against the mayor and when it didn't come,
it leaves -- the mayor was unfairly treated. >> miss schwartz. >> well, i think mayor vince gray was unfairly treated by my two former colleagues on either side of me. immediately upon there even being a notice of the shadow campaign, they both jump out there and said he should resign, and, you know, i think you're innocent until proven guilty and here we are 3 1/2 years later and the mayor has not been even indicted much less proven guilty. so i think that you all helped get that ball rolling with -- our u.s. attorney and i think what he did before the primary that three weeks and one day before the primary was unconscionable, unconscionable to act like he just had
something ready to drop on the head of us and here we are, what is it, seven months later, nada, nada. so i think he should either put up or shut up. >> miss bowser, one minute. miss bowser, one minute. >> yes. so the u.s. attorney as you know is not accountable to the voters of the district of columbia and that's one reason why it's so important that we fight harder and find new pathways to statehood so that we can have prosecutors that are accountable and answerable to us. this u.s. attorney has put a lot on the record, it's going to be up to him to follow the time line to get to the facts. what's important to me that anybody that's done something wrong will be held accountable. >> okay. if we can save -- again, the shorter the answer the better for us here.
if voters decide to legalize marijuana, as mayor will you try to delay this legislation, will you enforce it immediately? what's your position? >> no, i will be voting for initiative 71 and i will sign it into law if the voters agree. >> miss schwartz? >> i will be voting "no" to initiative 71. i voted for medicinal marijuana, i'm for the expansion to different illnesses for those who need it and i also work with congress to try to get that bill from being stopped up in congress so that we could implement it. i would have, had i been on the council voted for the decriminalization of marijuana because i thought it was obnoxious and even worse that so many of our young black males were in jail because of it and not the young white people and so i thought it was terribly unfair and so i would
have voted that but on this i'm going to vote "no." folks, we already have a lot of people in our community that need sobering up and i don't think we need to add another drug that will make that even harder, what people do in their own home now -- >> time is up. thank you. >> is up to them. i am not going to judge on what they do in their own home. >> mr. catania, how are you going to vote on this measure and if elected mayor, will you enforce it? >> i intend to vote "yes" along with miss bowser. i think prohibition hasn't worked. it has led to an underground economy and the violence that comes with it. i think marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, it should be licensed and taxed like alcohol. we need to protect children, that's very important and we need to make sure we can protect ourselves on the roads and we can make sure that our public safety officials are not obviously engaged in the practice.
but i think there's a -- there's a good deal, there's a good deal of common sense that comes with making sure that we can tax and regulate and use those revenues for good purposes. >> okay. thank you. >> i don't think we need to be a laboratory. >> i think i know the answers to this but i'm going to ask it anyway. if on november november you go to the polls, you can't vote for yourself, is there anybody up here that you would vote for? who would be your second choice? mr. catania. >> i think i'm going to decline that. >> miss schwartz. >> i already said i would vote -- i'm going to vote for myself and if i wasn't on the ballot, i would write my name in. >> okay. >> miss bowser. >> what she said. what she said. >> you would write your own name in? >> what she said.
that's a good one, carol. >> a few specific questions. mr. catania, i'd like to start with you. for the longest time and you came into elected office as a republican and we know why you left the republican party it was the constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, correct? >> among other things. >> among other things. that leads to my question. so you're an independent now, you didn't become a democrat, you've described yourself as progress sieve i think on -- progressive, but my question is, what if your republican background leanings do you still retain? how much of you is still aligned with the republican party? >> you know, bruce -- >> please, please, police, on -- please, come on. >> i actually don't recognize the party i was raised in. it is completely different. so to answer your question, i don't identify at all with the existing republican party. >> thank you very much. miss schwartz, same question to you.
>> listen, the party i had belonged to for many years veered far too for for the right for me to stay there, but i do consider myself folks a fiscal conservative. i don't take more money from the taxpayers than i am willing to put to good use. i hate waste fraud and abuse and so a fiscal conservative i am. but when it comes to the social issues, i have always categorized myself as a moderate to liberal and certainly i went down on one of the most liberal of policies and that is giving sick leave to workers and i am very proud i did. >> okay. >> just may i add, i have never been a republican. i am a democrat and proud of it. and i want everybody to know i'm not a democrat by accident. i'm a democrat because i believe in the values that have made our city strong. i have never gone to a republican convention to nominate george w. bush as the
next president. i have never raised $50,000 for george w. bush to get a seat at the table. instead, i went out to denver to nominate barack obama as our first african-american president and i even served as the electric tore -- eelectric tore. i cast your vote to get barack obama elected. more than that, i am proud of my democratic roots and i should be too and i am very resentful, in fact of my opponents who make fun of this saying that democrats are puppets and that's just not right. i am respectful of their choice to be in the republican party and they should be respectful of ours. >> miss bowser, i had a question specifically for you, miss bowser. you have been identified as -- and i think you lay claim to being a protege of former mayor
ant duran fenty. he won every precinct the first time he ran but didn't do very well at all in the last election here. how are you different from adrian fenty and do you still consider him a political ally? >> yes, i'm happy to answer that, bruce. so let me start by this. my name is muriel bowser, and i will run the bowser administration, adrian fenty is a friend of mine and has been a supporter for every one of my campaigns and i learned a lot from adrian. i learned how to get things done, i learned how to be inpatient with incompetence and i learned how to set high expectations, hire great people and hold them accountable. i also learned the lesson of his dramatic loss, i did and that lesson was never to lose touch with the people. always to come out to the communities check in, even when we have difficult decisions, to come out to the community, hear what the issues are, let them know what my issues are and
then move forward with decisions. >> okay. excuse me. got a couple of questions. we've got -- [ crowd noise ] >> i'd like to get to a couple of questions from social media. the first question to all three candidates, what's the biggest professional mistake you've made and what did you learn from it? >> mr. catania, can i start with you? again, it's a question from social media, what's the biggest professional mistake you've made and what did you learn from it? >> you know, i think -- >> bruce, can we just remind everybody, everybody, there are young people in this audience, there are young people here, folks. there are young people here. and i hope that we -- all of us adults can be respectful of the children who are trying to learn the democratic process.
[ applause ] >> if we can't respect each other, let's at least respect being an example for these young people. >> we are going to try this question one more time. hold on. >> do we want to continue? >> yeah, we want to continue very much. >> let's continue. again, the question from social media -- >> skyler, please. [ bleep ]
[ crowd noise ] >> let's continue. if it gets worse, we will end it. >> let's go. >> maybe it was the question everybody got upset about. let's go to another question. the question to the candidates, if elected mayor, what will you do to address gentrification in ward 7 and 8? who wango first? mr. catania? >> i think there's no stopping progress. what we can do, though, is do a better job of setting our residents up to succeed and compete. i think after 40 years of our home rule, i want to put some statistics out there. we are in the middle of a ward where the average household income is $30,000. in ward 3 it's over 200,000. in this ward there's 17 1/2 % unemployment, in ward 3 it's 2 1/2. in this ward only 12% of the adults have bachelor degrees, in ward 3, it's 83%. the most sure fired way of making sure our residents can
stay here is by giving them a high quality education and setting them up to succeed with college so they can come home and stay here. that is the only long-term solution. short of that, the only way to make our city affordable is to make it unsafe and no one wants to make it unsafe. >> miss schwartz. >> i have a specific plan and that is to bring backward 9. and in my affordable housing position paper which you can find on carol for dc.com for either spelled out or the number 4, carol 4dc.com, i call for a tax credit for those individuals who used to live here and many of them left because of education or affordable housing and went to ward 9. you all know what i
mean by ward nine, don't you? i want to bring them back and with a tax credit they will have to show that they were here, they will have to show how long you will -- a certain length they will have had to have been here and a certain length they would have had to have been away so we don't have just some developers jumping in and grabbing this, but i think we will bring ward 9 back with incentives such as the one i propose. >> miss bowser? >> i believe that ward 7 and ward 8 haven't had the investment that they need. i think it has to have the private investment and it hasn't had the public investment and i'm committed to getting that investment in ward 7 and 8. i am committed to appointing a deputy mayor whose sole job is to focus on closing those gaps. the income gap, the educational achievement gap and the economic development gap in ward 7 and ward 8.
>> okay. [ crowd noise ] >> we've got specific questions now from this audience. okay, that we'd like for you to address. the city has experienced over 2500 murders since 2000. that is a small neighborhood. with a disproportionate number occurring east of the an coast i can't river -- anacostia river, as mayor what would you do to stop the violence and murders over here? >> i want to -- >> go ahead. sure. >> i want to get our police force up to the authorized 4000 but i want them out of their cars, remember when you used to have foot patrols, we used to have officer friendly programs, we had metropolitan police boys and girls clubs, so that the police officers and young people got to know each other so there wasn't this confrontational thing going on. they actually established
relationships. i am also glad that the police chief is doing these cameras so we don't have a ferguson going on here and i'm afraid sometimes we think we do. but those cameras are going to make sure that everybody acts the way they are supposed to. but i think having foot patrols, segways, bicycles and not just driving around in cars where there are windows, you know, i drove here in a convertible. i always drive here in a convertible, whether it's night or daytime and i think we all need to be walking the streets and that is being on the streets will also help the criminals go into their houses. >> mr. catania. >> bruce, murders are up in this ward. in the last year there have been 33 homicides in this ward and the one year before that, there were 22. that's a 50% increase in one year. we know that 26% of the crime
in the city happens on 4% of four blocks. mrs. schwartz is right, we hired a number of officers in 1989 and '90 and we have about 1500 of our force of 3500 that if eligible for retirement in the next three years, we have an immediate all hands on deck issue, we have to do our best to recruit both new and horizontally but being away. there is a sickness in our community when it comes to violence. and it is pervasive, it has to be confronted. part of the south capital street measure that i worked on with miss jeffries was to make sure we built up our mental health capacity in our schools and as a result, we have 90 schools with full-time mental health professionals to help our young people work through the violence and the homelessness that often leads them to the violence that afflicts all of us. [ applause ] >> did you get a chance for -- >> no and thank you for that question because in many parts of the city and i think it's been said already that the
people feel safe but in too many parts of the city people feel more unsafe than they ever did. we know in this community only recently that a young man was gunned down right in one of our local establishments and so we know that people don't feel safe. i of course am going to spot a very -- support a very robust police department but i don't think that's half of the equation. i actually think that focusing on community groups that are working with young people, that understand when the violence is to happen and can work hand in hand with the community to stop it before it ever happens. that is a missing link right now in our public safety strategies. >> we now turn to closing arguments. you have one minute each and again the order was decided by lot. miss bowser, you go first one minute for closing arguments. >> i want to thank everybody for coming out to listen. i want to thank everybody for bringing their passions, their questions, their concerns and
their aspirations for the district of columbia. it has been my great honor to campaign across the city for the last 19 months in every ward, in every neighborhood talking to people about how we can move forward together. this is indeed a very important election for the future of the district of columbia, and my pledge is to make sure that we continue our proce separate, build -- prosperity, build on our prosperity and make sure more people are included in that prosperity, we get there by equalizing our school investments, we get there with a strong plan to build our middle class with schools and jobs and affordable housind we get there by building a government we can trust that is inclusive and reflective of our whole beautiful city. so that's why i am asking you to come out and vote on november 4th for muriel bowser, i will be a mayor for all eight wards. [ cheering and applause ]
>> miss schwartz, one minute for closing statements. >> may i have your attention please. thank you very much. well, i think many of you in this audience have known me for a lot of years. i served you well on the board of education, test scores went up. i served you well on the capital for several decades, things got better and taxes got lower. and now i am asking you to bring me back to run our city with your help, with your help, and many of you even when i was a republican and now i'm an independent, i'm meeting you halfway, i'm hoping -- and i wanted to also say i married a democrat and i raised three so you should be tolerant of me. but i am asking you, those of you in the audience who have
given me your vote for mayor one tomb before, just join with those who haven't given me your vote and sometimes wish you had and those who have missed me in the years i have been gone, if you will all join together, i will try to be a very good mayor for all of us. thank you. >> thank you. mr. catania, one minute. >> bruce, i want to thank you and thank everyone for coming out. there's no question that this ward has yet to see the prosperity that is being experienced throughout our city. >> that's right. >> and in 40 years of promises, 40 years of promises made and promises broken, the only way we are going to actually bring opportunity to this ward is if we elect a mayor who can get things done. when you look at 17 years on the council, my work in extending health insurance to
30,000 people, 37,000 children are going back to school with at risk and the list goes on and onto mention the $100 million investment in the hospital up the road that others had given up for dead. we need a mayor who has his heart in the job who will get up every day and keep his promises, for 17 years i have done that and i am asking for your consideration this november. thank you very much. >> thank you. mr. catania, miss schwartz, miss bowser, thank you very much. we'd like to thank all of you for coming, like to thank all of you for watching out there. monday starts early voting, november 4th, get out and vote. have a good night. bye.
have you seen the news about barbara comstock? first, the washington post reported, barbara comstock failed to report eighty-five thousand in income. now, we learn, barbara comstock pushed a client's issues in the virginia legislature and didn't disclose it. barbara comstock shepherded a trio of bills through the legislature and into law but barbara comstock never officially disclosed that all the while she was being paid thousands of dollars. no wonder she hid it.
phil: previously on "amazing race," nine times -- teams raced to the shetland islands. firefighter scott started the leg on the wrong foot. >> his ankle is huge. phil: and dentists misti and jim met their match while dating wrestlers brooke and robbie got it hammered. >> this is horrible. phil: as scott struggled to overcome his injury -- >> my legs are failing me. phil: college sweethearts tim and te jay couldn't get their sheep together. misti and jim won their second leg and the firefighters came up short. eight teams remain. whol wilbe eliminated next? >> got a beast over here. [captioning made possible by cbs productions, cbs, inc. and ford. drive one.]